‘Team behind Dhoni, dressing room atmosphere same’
India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has said that the team is standing strongly behind beleaguered skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and there is no change in the dressing room atmosphere despite the visitors losing their first-ever ODI series to Bangladesh.
India lost the first two ODIs of the ongoing three-match series to allow Bangladesh take an unassailable 2-0 lead and captain Dhoni received a lot of flak.
“If you don’t go behind your leader (now) then when will you? So as far as I am concerned it’s like an army, if you don’t go behind your leader then you are definitely going to get shot. If my captain asks me to die on the field, I’ll do it,” Ashwin said in a media conference.
“It’s not just now, any captain you have to go behind him. If he asks you to die on the field, then you have to be prepared to do it.”
Calling Dhoni one of the legends of Indian cricket, Ashwin said: “He is one of star cricketers. He has done so much for the nation. We can’t really forget what he has done.
“Yes, I know bad results crop and all kinds of statistics crop up. With statisti<g data-gr-id="53">cs you can</g> prove whatever you want as you please. You have to give credit to the individual because he has done a lot of good things. “You can’t blame him for the whole team’s performance. That’s not fair. I would say we have failed as a unit, failed as a group. We need to grow up as a group. To finish a season on a loss is not always bad. You can go back and work on whatever you need to work on,” he insisted.
Although Ashwin admitted that India did not play good cricket, he said that the dressing room atmosphere is exactly the same as it has always been.
“I think we should be honest in admitting the fact that we haven’t played very flamboyant cricket, and we have not come out of our shell. But as a whole, the dressing room atmosphere hasn’t been anything short of anything it has been in the past. I think we are used to the fact that we do lose a few, but we win more, which has kept us in good stead.
“But going into this game (third ODI), we’ve really got to free the birds up and try and play as positively as we can,” said the spinner.
Asked whether the Indian team had a meeting after it lost the second match, Ashwin said: “They happen as they need to. We have a particular format and we meet before the game. It will continue that way. We don’t have any emergency meetings.”
Ashwin said he would not want to blame just one department -- batting or bowling -- for the failure of the entire team.